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Enjoy the Summer and Stay on Track at the Same Time

Enjoy the Summer and Stay on Track at the Same Time

It’s getting hot out there, and you know what that means: Summer picnics and parties, meat smothered in sweet, delicious barbeque sauce, and fruity drinks with more sugar than a frosted doughnut.

Some people have a tough time sticking with healthy food choices in the winter, what with the dark nights and big sweaters. Others, though, find summer the toughest time to stay on track. There’s just so much fun stuff happening, it’s hard to turn down a delicious summertime treat, and sometimes it’s so hot out that the thought of exercise makes you want to curl up and take a nap.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though, so here are some ways to keep up your good habits all summer long.

Bring your own dish to a summer party (even when the host says not to).

Especially a cookout. As a vegetarian I usually do this anyway, because I don’t want to be stuck having only empty hotdog buns and sliced cheese as my choices. But if you’re trying to add more fruits and veggies and cut down on treats, you’ll be happy you brought something, too. A Mediterranean lentil salad with veggies, a green salad, some sort of fresh fruit, a bean dish that’s low sugar, whatever floats your boat, bring something you’ll be happy you indulged in.

Always avoid alcohol when you can.

Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and makes you do things you wouldn’t necessarily do (not that you know anything about that). It might be the difference between sticking to protein and veggies and diving head first into a bowl of chips and dip, so skip it when you can.

When you do drink alcohol, though, choose something low sugar.

Besides all that inhibition lowering stuff, alcohol is not free of calories, and many summer time faves (like margaritas or daiquiris) can be huge calorie and sugar bombs. A plain old glass of wine or wine spritzer, a vodka and tonic, or a light beer might be better choices.

Don’t let summer heat keep you from exercising.

Get up early or go out late for a walk or jog, try indoor classes where the A/C is blasting, or work out in the comfort of your own climate-controlled home. Do NOT let the heat keep you from lacing up your sneakers, though.

Train for a fall 5k.

One way to keep yourself exercising even during the dog days of summer is to have a goal in the future to plan for. Sign up for a charity walk or run for September, and (hopefully) your sense of wanting to follow through will keep you moving.

Make sure some of your summertime fun involves physical activity.

Some people picture themselves lying supine on a beach chair every weekend, while others imagine taking advantage of the great weather with a camping and hiking trip. If you’re more of the “lie down and rest” type, try picking at least one active thing to do over the summer. Go swimming once a week, plan a vacation that will involve plenty of walking, or get the bikes out of the garage to keep the whole family moving.

Summer is a time of sunshine and fun, and it can be healthy, too!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.